New electorate could create headache for local pollies

New electorate could create headache for local pollies

1290
Boundary map of the proposed new state electorate of Oakford.

A brand-new state electorate is being proposed with the standing districts of Armadale, Jandakot and Darling Range all to surrender communities.

The prospective new district of Oakford will swallow Anketell, Aubin Grove, Casuarina, Forrestdale, Haynes, Hilbert, Oakford, Piara Waters, Wandi, and parts of Banjup and Harrisdale.

Kelmscott will also shift into the state seat of Armadale, if the Western Australian Electoral Distribution Commission’s proposed 2023 boundary changes sail through.

But after the loss of Kelmscott and Oakford, the seat of Darling Range will gain parts of Baldivis and Casuarina.

And Jandakot will pick up Atwell, and parts of Banjup and Leeming but lose Forrestdale, Piara Waters and part of Harrisdale.

The rapid rise in populations in sections of Perth since the 2019 redistribution was cited by the commission as the reason for the changes.

Each of the state’s 59 electorates is required to have a population of 30,432, with a 10 percent allowable deviation.

The populations in the districts of Armadale and Jandakot rank in the top 10 most out-of-kilter in the state.

And this growth trend is predicted to continue as new housing developments take shape.

The commission has said the inclusion of Oakford would “create a new district with a distinct community of interest and sufficient capacity to accommodate forecast elector population growth resulting from the pipeline of urban development”.

The addition of Oakford enables the boundaries of other overflowing metropolitan districts to be slimmed down.

But in order to adopt a new city district, the commission has proposed to merge two regional districts – North West Central and Moore – into one new Mid-West district.

The sitting members for Jandakot, Armadale and Darling Range are keeping their cards close to their chest about the impact these changes could have for their re-election campaigns.

“I am committed to representing my constituents, whatever the final boundaries are,” Member for Armadale Dr Toni Buti said.

Anyone with objections to the proposed changes are being invited to submit them in writing until August 21.

All submissions should include the name, address and email contact point for the person making the submission, or the name of the organisation if the objection is being made on behalf of a group.

You can either email your submission to boundaries@waec.wa.gov.au, deliver it in person to Level 2, 111 St Georges Terrace, Perth, or post it to GPO Box F316 Perth, WA, 6841.

The commissioners will take all objections into account before making their final determination. But once made, that determination is binding and will apply at the next state election due in March 2025.